Claire's Birth - part i {decision time}

This time a week ago, I was sitting at home on the couch full of nervous anticipation for the following day. Why? Because we had made the decision to go ahead with an induction - and the date was set!

My doctor and I had been going back and forth over my options for the past few weeks, though we both still assumed that my body would make that final decision for us because of all the cervical issues and signs of pre-term labour. All that said, with each weekly appointment that we checked off, it appeared that everything was somehow holding steady. Once we passed the magical 37-week mark, I couldn't quite believe it - how did we get here?

The one thing that stayed constant was the fact that baby girl was measuring ahead - and as the weeks progressed, we kept a close eye on her size. Size alone isn't often a good enough reason to induce, but when combined with the anxiety of reduced movements thanks to my anterior placenta & the stress of the past few months of resting, it was an option I was interested in hearing about. My OB left the decision totally up to me, which was both reassuring but difficult. Georgia's birth was spontaneous, she came when she was ready; but it resulted in a LONG labour and a special care stay. My 'plan' for this baby was to try for a vaginal birth, because the thought of a c-section genuinely scared the heck out of me; but that was about it.

It became clear that we had two choices:

  • Let nature take its course and wait, with the risk of an extremely large sized baby at the time of birth. This wasn't a guarantee of course (ultrasound isn't 100% accurate) however we had seen consistent growth, both baby and my bely measured at full term size already, and I had a history of birthing large babies.
  • Go ahead with an induction at 38 weeks - keeping in mind the risk of potentially needing other interventions to assist with the delivery and to ensure the safe arrival of our little one. My OB told me that conditions were favorable for a successful induction in my case; I'd had a previous vaginal delivery, my cervix was ideal, baby's position was great {apart from a posterior presentation} - but of course, there were never any guarantees.
I spent a long time researching the pros and cons of both, but in the end my anxiety won. I didn't want to spend another fortnight worrying about the baby, about whether she would be okay in there, whether her size would hinder the delivery we wanted, whether the risk of having a stillborn was worth the risks of inducing a baby that wasn't ready to be born. Hubby & I both agreed that if things still looked the same at my 37.5 weeks appointment, we'd confirm and be good to go.
At that appointment, baby's growth was off the charts. She was head down, engaged and healthy, but measuring ahead as usual. We did a manual exam and my cervix had shifted to 3cm dilated, and my doctor was able to perform a stretch and sweep at the same time. It was uncomfortable, but not unbearable.

We discussed what the induction would look like; the plan was to skip the cervical ripening stage, as mine was already good to go. He would break my waters, pop me on the drip, and just let it go from there. I was concerned about being on a strict timeline for delivery or being rushed into a c-section if progress was slow, but he assured me that second births are generally faster than the first ones, and that my body would remember what it needed to do. He was very pro-epidural, even encouraging me to have one before the drip even started - and we had a lengthy chat about what I wanted. I was mostly worried about being stuck confined to the hospital bed if we did the epidural immediately, as I wanted to be up and around if possible. He was warning me of it being a fast labour, and that if I waited for pain relief, I might not have time to get it. I promised to think about the options and see how we felt on the day, as my gut was telling me to just take it one step at a time.

This all happened on the Wednesday; the induction date was set for that coming Friday morning. I think we all still assumed that the baby might just come on her own accord before then, particularly as the membrane sweep and dilation were pretty easy to do. Over the next few days, I lost my mucus plug and had a small show.

The night before the induction, I started having pains, but while they were uncomfortable, they were also very inconsistent. I tucked Georgia into bed that night and tried to watch a show with my Mum {who was staying over to help the next day} but I couldn't concentrate and ended up going to bed early myself. Part of me wondered whether I might have been going into early labour, but the next morning, I was still pregnant! 
It was time to grab our stuff, head to the hospital and get this show on the road. :) 
The last belly shot of this pregnancy - 37 weeks + 6 days. :) 

Missed part of Claire's birth story? 

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Anonymous said...

Gah!! Why am I reading this BEFORE my own labour! So proud of you Hun. You've done awesome... reading part three brought back too many memories, here's hoping I can join you in comparing birth stories In a few more weeks. Congrats again mate! Hugs.

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